Now And Then: Balancing Quick Wins With Lasting Progress When Working Across Sectors To Change Systems

At a Glance

This brief shares what JFF has learned, alongside the James Irvine Foundation, as we pursue change across sectors that will lead to an increased number of low-income youth graduating from high school and achieving a postsecondary credential by age 25.

In 2015, The James Irvine Foundation engaged Jobs for the Future to design and manage a cross-sector initiative to scale and elevate the quality of Linked Learning, an increasingly popular approach to college and career readiness. Now in its third year of implementation, the Linked Learning Regional Hubs of Excellence (or “Regional Hubs”) bring together K–12 school districts, postsecondary institutions, workforce intermediaries, employers, and community-based organizations to implement a coordinated Linked Learning strategy. It is a systems change initiative supporting Irvine’s goal to increase the number of low-income youth in California who graduate from high school and achieve a postsecondary credential by age 25.

This brief shares what we are learning with Irvine as we pursue change across sectors. In particular, it focuses on how we are addressing the difficult need to simultaneously demonstrate short-term progress that encourages continued stakeholder involvement while also taking time to build the capacities and relationships that will truly shift a system in ways that endure.